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The next UK General Election has been called for 4th July 2024!

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Parent Action

(Para español, click acá.)

Parent Action is a space for people to connect, develop and grow. Helping families to build the confidence and abilities to create change in their lives and in their communities.

WHY WE BEGAN

Whilst parenting is one of the most challenging and impactful things we do, it can often be undervalued. ​Children, and their parents, are central to our futures. They should be given all the support they need to build healthy foundations, and thrive.

Inequality, lack of support and isolation for parents, families and early years children is an injustice. An injustice which has a profound impact on a child's development and their family’s lives. It is important to help parents and children harness their potential, especially when these opportunities have been previously been denied. It’s an investment in our wider societal good.

Parent leaders sitting down at an event, smiling and looking towards the stage. The walls are decorated in colourful paper chains and children's artwork.
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What we do

Children and parents are at the centre of everything we do

  • We create a space for people to come together and connect with others, finding friendship and support. ​
  • We provide access and support to understandable information that responds to our community's needs. Our workshops cover anything from sleep and toilet training to stress and wellbeing; as well as our weekly Family Food Club and Parent University course (an antenatal and postnatal course).
  • We offer a fun space for kids to play and interact.
  • We work with health professionals such as midwives and health visitors to offer clinical support and signpost parents to other services.
  • We provide leadership journeys; from sharing to volunteering, from community organising to helping people build confidence to become community leaders and take action on the things that are important to them in their communities.​
  • We connect parents and decision-makers, to help make systemic change.
  • We invest in parent mental health. It’s a space where parents don’t feel judged.​

Key leaders for this campaign

Elsie Mumah (Together We Can, Parent Commissioner, London Youth Safety, NHS fees for migrant women)

Danna Michelley Quinos (Just Transition)

Abieyuwa Ehondor (Together We Can, NHS Fees for migrant women)

Yaneysi Brito (Together We Can)

Kely Jiménez (Latin American representation)

Amy Norris (Together We Can)

Carina Faria (Southwark housing campaign and Just Transition)

Munira Nesredin (Parent Lead at Parent Action’s steering group)

Father and daughter sitting around a colourful table with other children drawing and colouring in.

How our work helps families

  • An evaluation of our work by King's College London found that 40% of the mothers who came to our MumSpace group were at the threshold of getting some form of mental health intervention, but after six months 68% had fully recovered.
  • The same evaluation also found that parents’ social support network significantly increased after six months of attending MumSpace. Parents listed an average 12% increase in the number of people they could rely on and ask for help if needed.
  • An evaluation of our Family Food Club by The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP) found that 82 parents had access to surplus food every week thanks to this programme. They also found that 73 parents registered for Alexandra Rose vouchers, giving them access to fresh fruit and vegetables from East Street and Brixton market.
  • Following a listening campaign to identify key issues and vulnerabilities within the community during the COVID-19 lockdown, Parent Action (PACT) successfully responded to two of the three key barriers to engagement with services: computer confidence and literacy; and access to internet and devices. Between March and October 2020, we supported 65 families to get online with one to one and group digital support, and provided Wi-Fi and/or devices for 46 families.
  • King’s College London recently reviewed our booking sharing course, where families could develop the skills and confidence to share books and stories with their children. They found that many parents agreed that their knowledge of their child improved), their relationship with their child improved, and their child was able to participate in other educational activities.

What our parents say

I've always been glad to be a Dad, and fairly confident, but DadSpace has not only increased my personal confidence, but made me realise that Dads can offer a lot of help and support to each other, and that sharing our experiences (joys, pain, excitement) is both important and fulfilling. Sebastian Crankshaw, a parent attends DadSpace in Southwark.

The feelings of isolation I felt a few months ago have been replaced by a sense of belonging. I have met so many lovely ladies who are on the same journey as me and whom I can open up to. Parent Action (PACT) has created an environment where I can balance motherhood and self-growth and I am grateful for that. Hailu, a parent leader at the Southwark Family Food Club and MumSpace groups.

When I’m here, I feel free. Since joining Parent Action, Elsie Mumah has become a key community Leader, working with Citizens UK on a number of campaigns, such as Together We Can, Youth Safety and ending NHS fees.

Being part of Parent Action has brought me a new family and a sense of belonging in my community which I wouldn’t otherwise have felt. It has also shown me what I really want to do with my life and created a new passion in me for wanting to help people. Carina is a regular parent and volunteer at MumSpace and has volunteered at our Piggy Bank, where she helped to raise money for the community by selling donated clothes.

A brief history of the campaign

In 2015, Southwark Citizens invited local parents to meet and talk about the issues affecting them and how they could be better supported. The parents wanted a community; a space to gather, play and access parenting resources and education. In response, MumSpace was launched.

During these initial months, a Spanish-speaking mother called Grace Romero asked Southwark Citizens for help as she was pregnant and hadn’t received a check-up due to the language barrier.

After connecting Grace with a Spanish speaking midwife, Southwark Citizens asked Grace if there were other women that she knew who were dealing with a similar issue. Grace said “yes, many” and together they launched our Espacio Mama group.

Over the years the MumSpace project has expanded and Parent Action (PACT) now run nine groups: two MumSpace groups, two Espacio Mama groups, the Family Food Club, Parent University, Book Sharing, Babies@MumSpace and DadSpace. Our MumSpace, Espacio Mama and Babies@MumSpace groups are all run by previous Parent Action (PACT) parents and volunteers.

In 2018, Parent Action (PACT) expanded into North Tyneside. With the hope that Parent Action (PACT) activities could be replicated, the location was chosen based on the strength of alliances in the area and levels of need.

PACT parent leader speaking on a microphone at an event, with their child next to them

We are looking for volunteers who can support parents and young children attending our weekly groups. If you are fun, reliable and enjoy working with children, we would love to hear from you. There is no need to be an expert - just enthusiastic and willing to invest time to build relationships that make a world of difference!

Citizens UK: Parents and Communities Together, February 2022, young baby playing with volunteer

Check out our activities calendar to see what's happening each week and the different activities organised for Pregnant Parents, Under Ones, Four and Under, Actividades en Español and more!